AW: [governance] IGF Planning Retreat

"Kleinwächter, Wolfgang" wolfgang.kleinwaechter at
Wed May 25 05:50:40 EDT 2016

1+ to Bill.

Access, Openess and Transparency are key elements of any multistakeholder process. But this case raises also the question of accountability. Who is in charge for the whole IGF? In my understanding it is the MAG which represents the various stakeholder groups. But to whom is the MAG accountable? To the governments of the UN member states? Or to the various IGF communities, loosely organized in the stakeholder groups which facilitate the nominations? Probably the planned UNDESA meeting could kick-start a process on a MAG transition away from UN stewardship to a independent and self-sustainable bottum up and community driven process where governments are involved as an important stakeholder but have to "share" decisions making with other stakeholders. The WSIS +10 Outcome document has reiterated the WGIG/WSIS Definition on Internet Governance which includes the concept of "sharing". Probably we move now towards a "moment of truth". I fully support Bill´s idea to write a letter to UNDESA which would refer to all the basic principles and procedures for a bottom up multistakeholder process.  What we need in the IGF world now is an "empowered community".  


-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: governance-request at im Auftrag von William Drake
Gesendet: Mi 25.05.2016 11:23
An: Arsene TUNGALI (Yahoo)
Cc: Governance; Renata Aquino Ribeiro; Joly MacFie; Ian Peter
Betreff: Re: [governance] IGF Planning Retreat
Hi Arsene

> On May 24, 2016, at 15:42, Arsene TUNGALI (Yahoo) <arsenebaguma at> wrote:
> Sorry, but I thought the CSCG (as per Ian's email) is receiving CS nominations and will report it to the IGF Secretariat? Please help me undertand.

Sorry, my mailer dumped Ian's message into the archive rather than my IGC folder so I'd not seen it when I replied.  

That said, I really wish the CSCG had not decided to do this.  I would rather see CS, and indeed all stakeholders, tell DESA that we will not participate in a closed meeting, period. Which is what it turns out this will likely be:

"Due to on-site logistics, online/remote participation may not be available for the retreat; however, outcome documents of the retreat will be shared for further comment/consultation."

I think for DESA to unilaterally organize such a meeting on a closed basis is a total violation of the principles of openness and inclusion that the "IGF community," such as it is, has worked for ten years to bake into this process.  And bear in mind, this  is not an isolated incident.  An uncomfortable amount of the real decision making about the IGF takes place off stage and hence off the radars of stakeholders.  It seems that as long as people get to go once a year and do a workshop everyone's fine with this, but I remember a time when we actually cared about how the IGF is run, having been the most vocal proponents of its creation.

There is no reason on earth that an elite group of people selected by DESA needs to meet in the lovely leafy beach town of Glen Cove, Long Island in a place with no online facilities.  In mid-July a conference room at the main UN can surely be found.  If this somehow is not possible, a nearby hotel could probably provide a wired room for less than the price of Glen Cove.  Ok, this wouldn't be a swank, so people who managed to get their plane tickets paid for wouldn't feel as much like an inner circle entrusted to chart the direction of the IGF's evolution, but boo hoo.

This is not a meeting to negotiate a nuclear arms treaty.  It's a meeting to talk about the IGF.  If it is not transparent and open to participation then to me it has zero legitimacy, and civil society should not be undermining what is has worked for by participating.  So I am in complete agreement with Parminder:

> On May 25, 2016, at 06:06, parminder <parminder at> wrote:
> However the routine has been for the CS leadership to make some protest noises but then simply submit to whatever is offered. Lets for once stand out ground. Write a strong letter, and if we do not get a satisfactory response, refuse to go along. UNDESA/ IGF cannot keep contravening what are now the established rules of conduct for the IGF.


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